CYBER SAFETY IN SCHOOLS
Master Teacher, Department of Education-Makati, PH
Cyber web today is very wide and convenient that we could access it almost everywhere as long as the signals of the internet providers would reach our devices. The rising tyrant of this global trend led countless of people depending on the usefulness it provides.
But it seems that this freedom of expression and more ways to gain attention led to a series of cyber threats especially to children at a young age.
In the Philippines, reports show that 9 out of 10 children are using the Internet and the top means for accessing the net are through home connections (Stairway Foundation and Break the Silence Network, 2013). The survey asked 1,268 children aged 7-12 and 13-16 that aims to know how children use the internet. Alarming results were noted such as 6 out of 10 have seen pornographic links via Social Media, 3 out of 10 answered that they know someone who experienced cyberbullying and it 8 out of 10 respondents divulge that it normally happened through social media. Another issue addressed from the research was the concern whether anyone, an adult, teaches them about risks and dangers they might face online. Unfortunately, results display that 50% of the respondents reveal that no one has talked to them about it.
On September 2014 GMA News has estimated that almost half of the population is now Internet users, 38 million out of a population of 100 million with about two-thirds aged below 30 years.
These reports call for a wide campaign on Cyber Safety in school. Yes! Technology makes learning fun in the classroom but it can be dangerous if mishandled. What is cyber safety? It is simply the safe and responsible use of the internet or any platform online.
Stairway Foundation Inc. in support with the Department of Education has launched worthy initiatives educating not only the students but parents and teachers as well to ensure safety in navigating online. They created modules available online and offline through LRMDS portal an online platform for teachers, for the purpose of integrating cyber safety in the K-12 curriculum specifically in the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) subject.
Recently, these initiatives extended into the training of teachers to be advocates in this massive campaign on Cyber Safety by region all over the country observing the guidelines of Child Protection Policy. It aims to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to conduct the Cyber Safe lesson in the classroom and to acquire the knowledge on how to respond to Child Online Protection incidences. Learning from the training are expected to be cascaded at the Division Level down to the classrooms where the victims of these risks are found.
Furthermore, Dalir Eskwela videos are available online or offline that will aid adults or teachers in educating children in school or out school. These resources containing information that will teach children and make them aware of what to do while engaging activities in the cyber world. Characters are associated with human fingers definitely because we use these body parts in manipulating the technology.
Symposiums and demonstration teaching on the proper use of the resources is practice at the school level.